Monday, April 20, 2009

National Pot Smokers Day

It's about 11:30 p.m. April 20th as I write this post. That means if you haven't hit the bong yet, you've got approximately 30 minutes left to celebrate National Pot Smokers Day. Why April 20th, you ask? Well...I guess you never heard the term 420 used.

Huffington Post has several posts up on the subject including an interesting one on the origin of the phrase 420 (it was not actually a reference to the police radio code for smoking in progress) and an even better argument by former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper on the need for legalization. Stamper is a member of LEAP, an organization of "former cops and other criminal justice practitioners who have witnessed firsthand the futility and manifold injustices of the drug war."

If you are against the legalization of pot, read the post and look at some of the facts Stamper lays out about marijuana versus alcohol. I won't recite them all here, but I did find a question he poses to fellow law enforcement officers compelling. After pointing out that in approximately 3 million cases of violent crimes last year, the offender had been drinking, Stamper relates this:

Over the past four years I've asked police officers throughout the U.S. (and in
Canada) two questions. When's the last time you had to fight someone under the
influence of marijuana? (I'm talking marijuana only, not pot plus a six-pack or
a fifth of tequila.) My colleagues pause, they reflect. Their eyes widen as they
realize that in their five or fifteen or thirty years on the job they have never
had to fight a marijuana user. I then ask: When's the last time you had to fight
a drunk? They look at their watches.

It's time to get sensible about this War on Drugs. We are not winning. And if you can read this email to Andrew Sullivan and still be against the legalization of a natural substance that medicine and science agree offers a vast marjority of pros over cons, then your like a combo of the Tinman and the Scarecrow there Dorothy.

1 comment:

Mike Reino said...

Damn..... 420 went right past me. I'll have to check in with my Doobie Brothers.